Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trump Taunts Kim: My Nuclear Button Is Bigger Than Yours

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trump Taunts Kim: My Nuclear Button Is Bigger Than Yours

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gardner and Nicholas Cecil

DONALD TRUMP taunted Kim Jong-un today by bragging that his nuclear button is "bigger and more powerful" than the North Korean tyrant's.

Two days after Kim warned America that "the button for nuclear weapons is on my table", Mr Trump tweeted: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times'.

"Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Since taking office last year, Mr Trump has branded Kim, 33, a "Little Rocket Man" and "short and fat". Kim has called the president, 71, "mentally deranged" and a "frightened dog".

North Korea today appeared to be reaching out to South Korea by making contact via a long-closed hotline. Yesterday the South proposed high-level discussions to defuse the stand-off over Kim's nuclear weapons programmes.

Mr Trump's outburst came after Kim boasted on New Year's Day that he had a nuclear button on his table and the whole of America was within range. He claimed: "The United States can never fight a war against me and our state."

Kim has led the East Asian country since the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011. He said his regime would this year build more missiles for operational deployment and nuclear warheads.

However, he pledged not to attack unless threatened and paved the way for talks with Seoul by announcing that he would consider sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics, which are due to be held in South Korea next month.

Responding to Mr Trump's tweet, Jim Himes, a Democratic congressman on the House Intelligence Committee, said: "I guess the president regards this as a show of strength. As everybody who's ever been in a first-grade playground recognises, it's usually the person who's most aggressively pounding their chest that is in fact the weak one. …

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